Middle Run Valley Natural Area to Expand with New County Purchase


The Middle Run Valley Natural Area at Pike Creek is expanding a bit with an upcoming land purchase in New Castle County.

New Castle County Council unanimously approved the purchase of approximately 17 acres from Delaware Hospice Inc. on Tuesday.

The purchase will cost the county more than $ 1 million, but officials say the amount is already included in this year’s budget as part of the Open Space Preservation Capital Project.

City Councilor Tim Sheldon said the purchase comes after a years-long effort to negotiate with the developer and was motivated by the location of the land next to the existing park.

“We are not preventing millionaires from building next to millionaires,” he said. “We actually have a park adjacent to other parks, which will run from the Carousel bike path to the town of Newark.”

The Middle Run Valley Natural Area, owned by the county and managed by the Delaware Nature Society for Biodiversity, is connected to White Clay Creek State Park. County officials say the new acquisition will function primarily as a meadow and be mowed twice a year.

“I represent the Coalition of Natural Stream Valleys of Delaware, Inc., and we strongly support the acquisition of the property,” said Arabella Bianco, a member of the public, speaking at the board meeting on Tuesday.

The county will also have to pay for the property’s closing costs estimated at $ 7,700 and an environmental assessment of the property estimated at $ 3,000.

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